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SD RR board extends lease on Napa-Platte line

Despite aggravated board member, Kimball-based firm gets extension on offer to buy Napa-Platte rail line.

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WILL: Romney looking presidential with Ryan pick

WASHINGTON — When, in his speech accepting the 1964 Republican presidential nomination, Barry Goldwater said “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice” and “moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue,” a media wit at the convention supposedly exclaimed, “Good God, Goldwater is going to run as Goldwater.”

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WILL: 'Cruel and unusual' punishment continues to change

WASHINGTON — In the 1790s, a Tennessee man convicted of horse theft got off easy. Instead of being hanged, as horse thieves often were, he was sentenced to “stand in the pillory one hour, receive thirty-nine lashes upon his bareback well laid on, have his ears nailed to the pillory and cut off, and that he should be branded upon one cheek with the letter H and on the other with the letter T, in a plain and visible manner.”

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WILL: History tends to show that decriminalizing certain drugs could have disastrous effects

WASHINGTON — The human nervous system interacts in pleasing and addictive ways with certain molecules derived from some plants, which is why humans may have developed beer before they developed bread. Psychoactive — consciousness-altering — and addictive drugs are natural, a fact that should immunize policymakers against extravagant hopes as they cope with America’s drug problem, which is convulsing some nations to our south.

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OPINION: 'The Declaration of Independents' on Bachmann's reading list

WASHINGTON — August is upon us, beaches beckon, and Michele Bachmann has set the self-improvement bar high.

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OPINION: Congress stands its ground

WASHINGTON — Between 6 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Sunday, the nation began a constitutional course-correction. The current occupant’s vanity and naivete — a dangerous amalgam — are causing the modern presidency to buckle beneath the weight of its pretenses. And Congress is reasserting its responsibilities.

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OPINION: Tea party a welcome political development

WASHINGTON — The tea party, the most welcome political development since the Goldwater insurgency in 1964, lacks only the patience necessary when America lacks the consensus required to propel fundamental change through our constitutional system of checks and balances. If Washington’s trajectory could be turned as quickly as tea partyers wish — while conservatives control only one-half of one of the two political branches — their movement would not be as necessary as it is. Fortunately, not much patience is required.

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OPINION: Gov. Perry has potent potential

SAN ANTONIO — In the 1850s, on the steps of the Waco courthouse, Wallace Jefferson’s great-great-great-grandfather was sold. Today, Jefferson is chief justice of Texas’ Supreme Court. The governor who nominated him also nominated the state’s first Latina justice. Rick Perry, 61, the longest-serving governor in Texas history and, in his 11th year, currently the nation’s senior governor, says these nominations are two of his proudest accomplishments.

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GEORGE WILL: Things fall into place for Texas’ Cruz

DALLAS — For a conservative Texan seeking national office, it could hardly get better than this: In a recent 48-hour span, Ted Cruz, a candidate for next year’s Republican Senate nomination for the seat being vacated by Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison, was endorsed by the Club for Growth PAC, FreedomWorks PAC, talk radio host Mark Levin and Erick Erickson of RedState.com.

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OPINION: Bin Laden case shows it may be time for NATO to be abandoned

Osama bin Laden’s death was announced on May 1, a date that once had worldwide significance on the revolutionary calendar of communism, which was America’s national security preoccupation prior to Islamic terrorism. Times change.

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Columns

WILL: Detroit's death by democracy

Here, where cattle could graze in vast swaths of this depopulated city, democracy ratified a double delusion: Magic would rescue the city (consult the Bible, the bit about the multiplication of the loaves and fishes), or Washington would deem Detroit, as it recently did some banks and two of the three Detroit-based automobile companies, "too big to fail."

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WILL: Silence isn’t golden

ACS numbers provide taxpayers with information necessary to direct government.

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WILL: The vigorous virtues of Margaret Thatcher

Former prime minister Britain’s most formidable woman since Elizabeth I.

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WILL: The art of good writing

When asked to explain the brisk pace of his novels, Elmore Leonard said, "I leave out the parts that people skip."

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WILL: A rally cry to tame spending

Democrats not allergic to arithmetic must know the cost of their "fiscal cliff" victory.

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WILL: Homestead Act was first comprehensive immigration law

This is how the Homestead Act of 1862 is described by Blake Bell, historian at the Homestead National Monument of America near Beatrice, Neb., one of the National Park Service’s many educational jewels that make the NPS one of just two government institutions (the other is the U.S. Marine Band) that should be exempt from any budget cuts, for all eternity.

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WILL: Status quo preserved

WASHINGTON — America’s 57th presidential election revealed that a second important national institution is on an unsustainable trajectory. The first, the entitlement state, is endangered by improvident promises to an aging population. It is now joined by the political party whose crucial current function is to stress the need to reform this state. And now the Republican Party, like today’s transfer-payment state, is endangered by tardiness in recognizing that demography is destiny.

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WILL: Obama: The real radical, ‘progressive’ president

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Four years ago, Barack Obama was America’s Rorschach test upon whom voters could project their disparate yearnings. To govern, however, is to choose, and now his choices have clarified him. He is a conviction politician determined to complete the progressive project of emancipating government from the Founders’ constraining premises, a project Woodrow Wilson embarked on 100 Novembers ago.

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WILL: America's wealthiest counties in DC area

WASHINGTON — Montgomery County, Md., on the District of Columbia’s northern border, is a dormitory for the nation’s government, where federal workers’ sleep is disturbed only by dreams of new ways to improve us.

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WILL: Rising college costs not paying for education

WASHINGTON — Many parents and the children they send to college are paying rapidly rising prices for something of declining quality. This is because “quality” is not synonymous with “value.”

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